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Past Event

Thomas Byrne Edsall: American Democracy at the Crossroads

As Donald Trump seeks the presidency again, one of the country's most insightful political observers wonders whether American politics has already passed the point of no return in terms of its divided politics and culture and decayed social order.

New York Times columnist Thomas Byrne Edsall, author of the new book The Point of No Return: American Democracy at the Crossroads, fears the country might be headed over a cliff and argues that the 2016 election of Donald Trump was the most serious threat to the American political system since the Civil War.

As the country prepares for another election with Trump, Edsall documents how the Trump years of 2016–2020 negatively impacted the country, in his opinion. He explains the demographic shifts that helped make Trump’s election possible, and describes the racial and ethnic conflict, culture wars, rural/urban divide, diverging economies of red and blue states, and the transformation of both the Republican and Democratic parties that have left our politics in a state of permanent hostility.

As the country prepares for the 2024 election, can the country step back from the brink? Edsall isn't so sure. Please join us as the the prominent columnist explains why and what might be ahead for the United States. 


This program is supported by the Ken & Jaclyn Broad Family Fund.

Ken and Jaclyn Broad Family Fund

In Partnership with World Affairs.

World Affairs

Photo courtesy the speaker.

July 13, 2023

The Commonwealth Club of California
110 The Embarcadero
Taube Family Auditorium
San Francisco, CA 94105
United States

Image - Thomas Byrne Edsall

Thomas Byrne Edsall

Columnist, The New York Times; Author, The Point of No Return: American Democracy at the Crossroads

Image - Ray Suarez

In Conversation with Ray Suarez

Host, KQED's "On Shifting Ground"; Twitter @RaySuarezNews